Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Doing the rounds at Westminster... Project Make McCain Exciting.


Glenn Vowles said...

McCain and excitement are a contradiction in terms.

I see from recent gaffes that this is another US politician who does not know his geography - yet he is talked of as a 'safe pair of hands' with respect to foreign policy!!

This man does not know his sunni from his shia!

The Bristol Blogger said...

Embarrassingly ill-informed remarks on McCain here, which only show your own ignorance of foreign affairs.

You might dislike the US, you might dislike the Republican Party but to claim McCain does not know his foreign policy is a nonsense.

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it John McCain who sponsored the bill through the US senate that led to the deployment of troops into Bosnia in 1996 to end the genocide there?

And didn't he do this in the face of stiff resistance from Democratic President Bill Clinton, our Tory government and the Labour opposition?

What was the Green position on the Bosnian genocide at the time Vowlsie? I don't recall them calling for intervention to end the slaughter.

And what has Obama ever done to warrant his reputation as some kind of foreign policy expert?

Glenn Vowles said...

Reply to Bristol Blogger.

There are many solid examples I could use to back my point about McCain, so my view is based in factual observation not any personal knowledge/ignorance of foreign affairs. That McCain has argued that overwhelmingly Shi'ite Iran is backing Sunni Al Quaeda surely shows a problem to say the least?? Has McCain not heard that shia and sunni have been blowing each other to bits on a very large scale for a very long time, in several countries around the globe??

Its nothing to do with not liking the US (how do you not like a whole country??) or even the Republican Party (though they are certainly not my political colour)or indeed McCain himself, who is actually quite an interesting Republican in some respects. Its also nothing to do with defending any Green Party position or policy, as my view here is personal.

There is an (incorrect)assumption that I favour Obama, who has made his own share of gaffes, here that has much more to do with the Bristol Blogger's rather simplistic, 'us and them' view of the world than facts (for the record I find that Obama often speaks many words but there is usually not much substance to them).

See here for starters, for more examples of gaffes:

The Bristol Blogger said...

Unfortunately the links you supplied are broken, except the Michael Moore one, so I can't comment on all the articles directly. Personally I don't take much notice of Moore and since the substance of his article seems to be unsubtley hinting that McCain is old and therefore going senile, I'll continue to ignore his ramblings.

On the wider issue of Iran, despite not knowing a great deal about who's blowing up who with what in Iraq at present, it would come as a surprise to me if Iran weren't supplying arms to Iraqi insurgents (including Sunnis).

Wars tend to breed strange alliances and highly deregulated arms markets so Shia weapons ending up in the hands of Sunnis is not that unlikely if they're attacking Iranian 'enemies' - ie. The US, the West, Iraqi democrats, trade unionists etc.

Glenn Vowles said...

Sure Blogger I agree with your general point. The example from McCain however referred specifically to Al Qaeda and he has had to correct his words by substituting 'extremists' for Al Qaeda. Not really a sign of his 'expertise'.

You may be right about Michael Moore. I dont read a lot of his stuff. Doubtless there are others who are trying to portray McCain as old and senile - an apalling and unethical approach. Does not mean we should not scrutinise his pronouncements and criticise his errors of course.

Extract on McCain gaffes from

'Unfortunately for McCain, that wasn’t an isolated slip. Among the other lapses:

• “Somalia” for “Sudan”: As recounted in a reporter’s pool report from McCain’s Straight Talk Express bus on June 30, the senator said while discussing Darfur, a region of Sudan: "How can we bring pressure on the government of Somalia?"

Senior adviser Mark Salter corrected him: “Sudan.”

• “Germany” for “Russia”: A YouTube clip from last year memorializes McCain referring to Vladimir Putin of Russia — following a trip to Germany — as “President Putin of Germany.”

• This spring, McCain said troops in Iraq were “down to pre-surge levels” when in fact there were 20,000 more troops than when the surge policy began.

• Also this spring, McCain twice appeared to mistake Sunnis and Shiites, two branches of Islam that split violently.

• In Phoenix earlier this month, McCain referred to Czechoslovakia, which has been divided since Jan. 1, 1993, into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He also referred to Czechoslovakia during a debate in November and a radio show in April.

• In perhaps the most curious incident, McCain said earlier this month that as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he had tried to confuse his captors by giving the names of Pittsburgh Steelers starting players when asked to identify his squadron mates. McCain has told the story many times over the years — but always correctly referred to the names he gave as members of the Green Bay Packers.'

The Washington Post link I gave previously should work ok (it does for me).

Obama gaffes a littel harder to find material on, but some here: